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Calling All Artists

The Ferens Art Gallery is welcoming submissions from amateur and professional artists for the 2023 Open exhibition. Online submissions start on Tuesday 7 March at 9am and the deadline to submit artwork is Tuesday 28 March 2023.

Artworks will then be selected for an exhibition by a panel of specialist judges. This year’s selectors for the 2023 Open are: Artist and Curator Nahem Shoa, Visual Artist Divya Sharma, and Music Services Manager at the Warren Youth Project Scott Langthorp.

It costs just £5 to submit each piece of artwork and the work must have been created within the last 18 months. All artists will be notified of the selector’s decision by email. Only successful artists will be required to deliver their artwork to the gallery from Thursday 22 June to Wednesday 28 June 2023.

Being selected means:

  • Your work(s) will be on display as part of the 2023 Open exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery
  • An opportunity to sell your artwork
  • An opportunity to raise your profile as an artist
  • A chance to win a cash prize
  • An opportunity to network with other artists at our preview event on 20 July

Find out more information about how to apply and read our terms and conditions here:

2023 Selectors:

Nahem Shoa, Artist and Curator 

Nahem Shoa was born in Notting Hill, London. He is a well-known for his contemporary portraits of British people of colour. These portraits have been in pioneering exhibitions in regional museums and art galleries in Britain on the theme of identity and race. More recently his work draws on the current state of the world, climate change, nature, trees, race, myth, pollution, art history and combines these realities in his own complex and visionary language of painting.

Since 2004 Shoa’s portraits are in the collections of Manchester City Art Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, The Box, Plymouth, Graves Gallery, Sheffield, The Herbert, Coventry, Southampton City Art Gallery, Bury Art Gallery, Museum of Hartlepool, The Atkinson, Southport, and most recently Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.

Divya Sharma, Visual Artist 

Divya Sharma is a London based artist from South India. She has a Masters in Sculpture from

the Royal College of Art, London, 2021, after completing her BA in Fine Art from the University of Arts London, 2019.

Divya’s work reflects her lived experiences to focus on to the larger political context, especially on post-coloniality, the status of women and diasporic communities.  At the heart of her practice is the idea that diasporas can inspire; they make futures in which we are not opposites but extensions and additions. She is a multi-disciplinary artist primarily working with textiles and threads along with video and site-specific installations.

Divya is one of the founding members of the Neulinge Collective, a South Asian arts collective formed in 2017. She is also the founder and host of the ARTiculate podcast where she talks to artists in different stages of their careers about their practise and motivations.

Divya’s large textile work There is this stupendous thing of beauty called Compassion; and therefore, the world exists, 2021 was part of the 2022 Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull and the South London Gallery. She has also qualified for the 17th International Triennial 2022 in the Textile Museum of Lodz, Poland.

Scott Langthorp, Music Services Manager, The Warren Youth Project, Hull 

Scott Langthorp’s passion for art and illustration began at a very young age, encouraged by his dad who was a draughtsman for an engineering firm. After finishing college where he focussed on fine art and illustration, he attended the University of Humberside to study Phonic Art, exploring and experimenting with sound and music through installations and endurance based improvised live performance art. As a musician, producer, DJ, graphic designer and promoter he has spent the best part of 20 years performing and hosting events in the city and further afield. He has played many festivals and also supported some huge names, most recently and notably, Fatboy Slim.

Scott also runs a not-for-profit record label, Warren Records, based at The Warren Youth Project, in Hull. This provides young people from the city with access to free rehearsal and recording rooms, talent development opportunities, workshops and regular showcase events. These all help young people build confidence, up-skill themselves and deal with everything life throws at them.

 The Warren Youth Project and its young people have a great relationship with Ferens Art Gallery and have collaborated on many projects in the past, most recently; Monet in Mind, 2021, We Will Slam You With Our Wings, 2022, and Rediscovering Ferens Identity exhibition, 2023.

Open Exhibition Prizes

A number of cash prizes are on offer to win, which have been kindly donated by Friends of the Ferens and BSB Architecture, they include:

Friends of the Ferens Award

Awards for £350 (first prize), £250 (second prize) and £200 (third prize) will go to winning artists selected by the Friends of the Ferens.

Future Ferens Young and Emerging Talent Award

All young artists age 16 to 25 are eligible for this prize.

An award of £150 will go to an artist selected by BSB Architecture and the Future Ferens (volunteer group age 18-25).

Chair’s Award – Hull Culture & Leisure

An award of £100 will go to the winning artist selected by Hull Culture and Leisure Chair Alison Collinson.

People’s Vote Award

A cash prize of £100 will be awarded to an artist most voted for by visitors to the exhibition.

Need help submitting an artwork?

Book your free place on one of our Open Exhibition workshops taking place at Ferens Art Gallery.

These simple 30-minute sessions are designed for artists not familiar with using a computer, the internet, email or photographing their artwork. Staff will guide artists through the process of submitting an artwork online.

Friday 10 March, 10.30am – 3.30pm

Saturday 11 March, 10.30am – 3.30pm                                    

Friday 24 March, 10.30am – 3.30pm

Sunday 26 March, 11.30am – 3pm

To reserve a slot on one of the above workshops please call 01482 614290 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email We have a limited number of spaces for these sessions.

Contact Details: / 01482 614290

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